There's a new dance academy in Adelaide and it is designed to teach kids the art of the South American beats! Started by talented Argentinian dancer Valeria Alonso, the dance academy hopes to provide recreational dance classes and after-school activities to children who have the drive and passion to learn a new style of dance and culture.
I had the opportunity to conduct an e-interview with founder Valeria - here's her story:
Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the dance industry. At the age of 10, I arrived in Australia, where I continued my passion with the dancing. I started dancing at a local dance studio there, where I was taught how to dance the Latin styles. I then began taking drama classes in musical theatre.
When I was 16, I began training Samba, an extremely energetic and fun dance from Brazil. This dance style inspired me so much that I began taking salsa training to push myself further inside the fun of dance production and performing in front of massive crowds around Adelaide.
After two years of performing in front of crowds, I started running classes for kids and adults, while taking Ballroom for a state competition at the age of 21.
My journey then stopped with teaching adults and I became passionate in teaching children. It is now that I continue to educate children not only how to dance but the values in having self-confidence, social skills and how to keep active.
Dancing to South American beats!
What inspired you to open your own dance academy? My niece! At the age of 1, she began moving her hips to the beat of Marc Anthony's song called "Voy a vivir", which means, "I'm gonna live my life". It was at that moment that my sister approached me saying, "I want to take your niece to a dance class that teaches them the South American dance styles!" And that's how the idea of El Ritmo came into existence.
Where are you currently located?
The academy is currently located at Hillcrest community centre - 27-31 Queensborough Ave, Hillcrest.
How frequently will you be running classes? Classes run every week, starting on Tuesday nights from 4.30-5.15pm.
Who is your target audience?
El Ritmo welcomes every child in the 4-16 age bracket, with the hope and desire to provide the necessary tools for each student as they discover the artistic South American world to full satisfaction.
How much do people pay for a class?
$12.00 - 4-6 year old kids for a 45-minute class.
$14.00 - 7-16 year olds for a 60-minute class.
The dance classes begin with an interactive cultural activity, followed by the dancing tutorials, where kids begin to learn the basic steps. Figures, techniques and turns are added as children progress in the class of the chosen dance style.
Building a new pathway for kids in the dance sector
What style of dance are you going to teach?
Merengue, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Cumbia and Folklore.
Are there any specials or promotions that you provide to first-timers or newbies?
When enrolling for the first time, all kids are able to register for a free trial class of the chosen dance style. More details can be found here.
Is there anything else that you'd like people to know of your new business?
El Ritmo is not just about learning the steps, but also about introducing kids to a new culture, listing to new beats of music, and helping children appreciate and respect the importance of human beings. El Ritmo hopes to encourage diversity by teaching kids that we all come from different backgrounds and therefore through dance we can allow a space for socialization, respect, and effective communication to flourish and make us better human beings.
You can now take this experience at your local school - Viva El Ritmo is a curriculum-based school dance program that is offered at the Early Learning Centre, Primary schools and High schools. The best part about this offer is that it involves your local school staff and teachers to come in and engage via a free introductory Salsa Dance Workshop, which can be enjoyed as part of a team-building activity!
So, are you ready to join the fun? Be quick this offers end on 13th of April! Get in and experience the fun of South American Beats! Vamos a bailar!